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Pro-Iranian and pro-Russian forces clash in Syria


Now, it seems, Russia and Syria are showing the depths of their alliance.  Or not. 

Russia is making an effort to exert absolute dominance over Syria, and Iran is in the way. 

Get out your popcorn, this is going to be interesting. It will also prove informative to any potential Russian allies. Russia will screw anybody…

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019  9:00:04 AM

The Tiger Forces, an elite formation of the Syrian government army, have clashed with the 4th Armored Division, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported, citing sources in Syria. According to the news agency, the Tiger Forces are backed by Russia, whereas the tank division, which is commanded by Bashar al-Assad’s brother General Maher al-Assad, is backed by Iran.

The encounter reportedly took place in Syria’s Hama province in the north-west of the country. Anadolu did not specify an exact date.

Russia is trying to turn the Syrian army into a single structure with strong military leadership, and is betting on Suheil al-Hassan, commander of the Tiger Forces, observes a report by the Turkish Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Stuidies. Al-Hassan is popular among the soldiers and enjoys authority among the Alawi officers (Alawism is the branch of Islam which the al-Assad family adheres to). Aleppo and eastern Ghouta were recaptured by Syrian government forces under al-Hassan’s leadership. Other Syrian commanders, including Maher al-Assad, are opposed to al-Hassan acquiring greater influence, the report notes.

“Local sources describe the conflict as an attempt to reduce Iran’s influence in the region,” Anadolu writes, noting that “many were wounded and killed” in the encounter.

Der Spiegel also wrote about the conflict on 25 January. The German news magazine has a radio communication recording which is evidence of a conflict between “the Syrian divisions of two of Assad’s primary allies – Russia and Iran”. According to Der Spiegel, the encounter took place on Saturday 19 January and was won by the formation trained by Russian specialists. There is no precise information about the number of casualties, probably because “neither party wants to publicize the battles between the allies,” Der Spiegel observes. After the clash on 19 January, the situation has stabilized somewhat, but the two sides “continue to shoot at each other from time to time”.

According to the German magazine, both Moscow and Tehran want to assert control over the Al-Ghab Plain in the northwest of Syria’s Hama province. The valley lies between the “native province of the Assad clan” and Idlib, the last stronghold of the anti-Assad forces.

Source: http://uawire.org/pro-iranian-and-pro-russian-forces-clash-in-syria

5 thoughts on “Pro-Iranian and pro-Russian forces clash in Syria

  1. “Russia is trying to turn the Syrian army into a single structure with strong military leadership, and is betting on Suheil al-Hassan, commander of the Tiger Forces, observes a report by the Turkish Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Stuidies. ” Do you think it’s possible Russia is trying to make sure it doesn’t screw over Israel too much? Because I am intrigued by the idea that Russia may be aware that it’s alliances are putting Israel in danger, and so it will try to force out Iran. Is that not a good thing for everyone involved? A major concern of the Russian intervention was ensuring that Iran does not build it’s “Shia crescent” in Syria. The efforts of the USA to stymie this were counterproductive and unsuccessful, as far as I know, resulting in weapons being channeled to Sunni extremists *source needed. In this sense, despite bad aspects of Russian foreign policy, I am genuinely baffled by efforts to make Russia’s pro-Assad effort in Syria look completely illegitimate. The central question is: What would the alternative to Assad have been?
    The recent test case is: What occured in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, and was the US-intervention better than the alternative of stability under a dictator?
    Furthermore: Is the autocracy instituted by the Syrian regime not justified, in light of the efforts by the opposition to overthrow the government by force of arms, backed by foreign geopolitical powers?
    Prove me wrong, I am open to any counter-arguments here:
    My central thesis, is that Russia is indeed acting in the interest of Syrian stability, and also Israeli security here, on two fronts:
    1) Shoring of the central government of Syria, preventing the formation of warring Sunni militias connected with fundamentalist Islam terror statelets (ISIS, Al-Qaeda in Syria, Jabhat-al Nusrah)
    2) Pushing Iranian control out of Syria, which prevents the necessary Israeli war on Syria to remove Iranian missiles and troops. Israel has already had to shoot down Iranian equipment entering north of Golan Heights, the Israeli intervention can now be mollified with Russian efforts to drive out Iranians.

    1. Good points all. I am assuming you don’t really want me to address all those questions (hopefully)?

      Yes, it’s possible that Russia has Syria’s best interests in mind – as long as those interests align with Russia’s.

      Russia has been in talks, and it appears now cooperating, with Israel. I don’t know their endgame, one can only guess at this point. If I had to guess it might be to weaken the US-Israel bond. Second, to sow chaos into the region in regards to US alliances. Last, and certainly not least, kill Americans in Syria and have someone else do it, not Russia. This might force an expedited exit from Syria. Of course, I’m swagging it. Russia will ALWAYS prop up Syria, however, they’ve now established two bases there, one naval, one an airbase. I’ve been on one Soviet airbase, K2 in Uzbekistan. I have a feeling the Russians are every part as much of an environmental disaster as they were at K2.

      1. “Good points all. I am assuming you don’t really want me to address all those questions (hopefully)?”
        Of course, my questions are too many to answer briefly; suffice it to say, I do have a lot of questions. Did you know that if you don’t answer my questions, Russian propaganda outlets like Sputnik/RT/Southfront are more than happy to provide their own answers to these questions? The problem is that the American non-alternative media does not go in depth enough on these topics, leaving these questions to the so-called “alternative” media. (This alternative media is of course besotted with spin from unwitting or witting PR operatives of Russia and Iran – the “alternative media” connections with disinfo agents goes all the way back to the mid-2000s, when Iranian/PressTV/CounterPunch/DailyKos propaganda perhaps helped get the US public behind a “troop pullout” in Iraq) I’ve noticed this for years, the activities right around 2008 with the “anti-surge” movement in the US helped to convert me to political realism ( I was graduating college then). So I only want to be pragmatic, which means I am open to understanding how little I know (and how little most of the voting public knows). I see hopeful signs that pragmatism is developing, but I think a lot our lacking knowledge has to to with a media landscape that is often self-conflicting, and driven by partisan/foreign PR talking points. So thanks for your service in providing this more pragmatic approach, and going beyond CNN/Fox talking points, or falling into PR traps of Moscow/Tehran. They are all knowledge traps, the former two partisan outlets alternatively manipulated by PR campaigns feeding their bases from foreign influence operations.

        -“Yes, it’s possible that Russia has Syria’s best interests in mind – as long as those interests align with Russia’s.”
        Doesn’t Russia just want to keep its base in Latakia? I don’t see this as negotiable – no country is going to give up a military base, it would be political suicide to it’s elite. Isn’t it realistic to expect a compromise with Russia, backed by US-military containment and security arrangements with Israel? This was true since 2012 when the Syrian war really got going, but I didn’t see anyone asserting this back then. Russia may be evil, but the US plans for Syria were not at the level of detail they needed to be to create an outcome in favor of the Syrian people’s survival, much less in favor of regional stability. The infiltration of people of low intelligence and promotion based upon spewing talking points within the defense department and state department is what I suspect – to set a plan in force, you need robust debate from “devil’s advocates”, who will understand the chess moves of the opponents in detail. I can’t even believe the US allowed a fully armed Islamic terror state to develop in the Levant, ISIS/ISIL, after we had previously controlled the area with US forces. Isn’t this the issue at hand? Didn’t Assad transfer weapons from Saddam Hussein at the border after our invasion, and why was this never followed up on, immediately? Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of this bungle, and the buck stops nowhere. Peace activists, silent pragmatists and hawks are all equally guilty. FUBAR

        – “Russia has been in talks, and it appears now cooperating, with Israel. I don’t know their endgame, one can only guess at this point. I had to guess it might be to weaken the US-Israel bond.”
        -“I’ve been on one Soviet airbase, K2 in Uzbekistan. I have a feeling the Russians are every part as much of an environmental disaster as they were at K2.”

        Obviously you have considerably more experience in these matters than I have. So of course, I defer to you, I am just an citizen who wants to be informed. At this point though, it’s possible with the presumptive Kamala Harris administration, Israel’s right-wing may be less defended than under Trump ( I have no evidence for this assertion, I haven’t gone through her policy positions). For Israel, entering into a second alliance with Russia would be good for it, if only Russia would stop seeding anti-Semitic propaganda worldwide through its Internet Research Agency, and also apologize for it’s connections with Iran/Hamas/North Korea. Certainly Russia is no clean bedfellow here.
        Not everything is bad, perhaps – there are always elements for positive stability within an overall evil government, such as that of Russia. There are good men working behind the scenes in Russia, who have to work for Putin, and try to do good in spite of the government’s excesses. I just don’t think it’s all bad, and the posture that suspects good can’t be found within the Russian effort is not conducive to a lasting security arrangement. Security almost always leads to peace.
        Peace is military pacification by another name. The facts on the ground determine the eventual peace, and the USA simply lacks the pragmatism and informed public backing them, to make this happen, is what it seems.

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